Wednesday, August 27, 2014
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Statistically, the Eagles' key players on offense match up with the best over the last 30 years

When you think of the best offenses over the last 30 years, you think of the 49ers dynasties of the late 80's led by Joe Montana, or Steve Young in the 90's. If you're a little older, maybe you think of the 1984 Dolphins, or if you're a little younger, the 2007 Patriots that went 16-0 in the regular season. Or if you're a bandwagon Cowboy fan, perhaps you think of the Aikman-Smith-Irvin trio in Dallas in the mid-90's.

Statistically, the Eagles' key players on offense match up with the best over the last 30 years

Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. (Matt Rourke/AP)
Eagles head coach Chip Kelly. (Matt Rourke/AP)

When you think of the best offenses over the last 30 years, you think of the 49ers dynasties of the late 80's led by Joe Montana, or Steve Young in the 90's. If you're a little older, maybe you think of the 1984 Dolphins, or if you're a little younger, the 2007 Patriots that went 16-0 in the regular season. Or if you're a bandwagon Cowboy fan, perhaps you think of the Aikman-Smith-Irvin trio in Dallas in the mid-90's.

Statistically, when you look at the numbers that the Eagles' skill players are putting up, they compare quite favorably to the best offenses over the last 30 years. Nick Foles, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, and Riley Cooper form a QB-RB-WR1-WR2 combo that is doing amazing things this season. 

If you project the stats for Foles, McCoy, Jackson, and Cooper over the rest of the season, you get the following numbers:

• Foles: 185 for 327, 61.9 completion %, 2955 yards, 30 TD, 2 INT, 120.0 QB rating.

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• McCoy: 321 rushes, 1606 yards, 5.0 YPC, 9 TD, 49 catches, 540 yards, 1 TD.

• Jackson: 80 catches, 1329 yards, 16.6 YPC, 10 TD.

• Cooper: 46 catches, 879 yards, 19.3 YPC, 9 TD.

If you look at those numbers individually, they are all impressive in their own way. To have 4 players putting up those kinds of numbers simultaneously in their respective roles, however, is special.

I tried to think of the best QB-RB-WR1-WR2 combos over the last 30 years, and came up with the following 12 sets of skill players. Obviously, there are arguments for other QB-RB-WR1-WR2 combos, and while I'm not the best football historian, these are the ones I thought of. To note, some of the following combos had a long period of sustained success. I tried my best to select to best year statistically for each of them. Here are the 12 that I came up with, in order of oldest to most recent:

First, let's look at the QBs (in order of QB rating):

* - projected

That is as impressive a list of QBs as you'll find. Foles would have the fewest interceptions, the 3rd best QB rating, and the 4th best yards per attempt. He would also have more TD passes than Montana, Kelly, Aikman, and Elway, despite having the fewest projected pass attempts. That is wild.

The RBs (in order of rushing yards):

McCoy would be 3rd in rushing yards, 3rd in yards per attempt, and 4th in total yards from scrimmage. In case you didn't notice against the Lions last Sunday, he's good.

Moving on to WR1 (in order of receiving yards):

DeSean Jackson's TD numbers don't match up to some of the gaudy stats above, but his receptions and yardage totals would put him right in the middle of the pack, which isn't too shabby, considering the company.

And finally, the complementary receiver:

This is an area where you might think that the Eagles would be at the bottom of the list, but Riley Cooper holds his own. He has the 2nd highest yards per catch on the list, and if you consider that he provided virtually nothing in terms of receiving production over the first 5 games this season, his placement on this list of very talented receivers is quite respectable.

Chip Kelly's offense has been special this season, and he's getting historic production from Nick Foles, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, and Riley Cooper.

Jimmy Kempski Philly.com
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